IEA head Birol calls on Germany to preserve European unity during energy crisis
Clean Energy Wire
Germany should ensure there is solidarity in Europe to get through the energy crisis and be prepared for the winter 2023/24, International Energy Agency (IEA) head Fatih Birol said. “Europe needs to prepare today for next year,” he said during a presentation of the IEA's World Energy Outlook, adding that a joint European response to the crisis will make it less severe than if each nation went on its own. “The homework for Germany, together with other European countries, is to make sure that Europe responds to this crisis together in solidarity,” as not passing the current energy test might mean the consequences go beyond energy, he said. Three aspects could make next winter “more difficult” than this winter, according to Birol: Largely unavailable gas flows from Russia, which helped fill storages this year; a re-bounce of China’s economy, as the country is one of the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) importers; and low new gas capacities in 2023, as projected by the IEA.
“I am truly impressed with the German government’s nimbleness to address the current energy crisis, first of all at home,” Birol said, pointing out that the crisis could ramp up investment in clean energy technologies as these would provide energy security, help meet climate commitments and increase competitiveness in the clean energy manufacturing industry. Patrick Graichen, state secretary at the economy ministry (BMWK), said soaring energy prices could bring about a turning point for gas use in Germany, and lead to a massive ramp-up of renewable energies and electrification, as well as an increase in energy efficiency. However, the country needed to be fast and additional capacities to implement the shift must be secured, he added.